Note: the following was posted earlier today. After a day of working on creating a commissioned “Crazy Quilt,” I realize the quilt below is really not too “crazy.” In fact it is very organized. My present project is making me crazy – that’s really where they get the name. Stay tuned. Photos of the new project are coming.

This wool embroidered quilt was brought to me last month to make repairs and to put a sleeve at the top for hanging. An identification label was also added to the back. The owner had a good recollection of the family that made and used this quilt.

Please take note, in the close-up photos, of the wide variety of embroidery stitches along the seams, done with cotton threads.

Crazy Quilt of Salesman's Sample
Crazy Quilt of Salesman’s Sample

The quilt measures c. 79 inches x 79 inches. The back is a dark blue with a resist printed flower pattern. (Fabric is seen in the photo of the label at the end of this post.) The back is folded to the front to make the binding. There are about 25 ties/tacks that hold the two layers together.

Back of one piece that was removed.
Back of one piece that was removed.

All the pieces of wool are of uniform size and many, but not all, appear to have something on the back that probably was glue.  Given the finish date embroidered on the quilt, 1912, I expect that a fabric salesman provided these rectangles to the makers of the quilt. The simplicity of the wool provides a wonderful background for the embellishment stitches seen in the following photos.








These are the initials of the maker, her mother, and her husband. Click images to enlarge.

Hole in middle

Most of the repairs were where moths had eaten the fabric; old wool pieces were inserted over or replacing this damage. The primary problem was most likely done by a mouse right in the middle, all the way through. After hand stitching patches on front and back, I embroidered flowers to hide the work.

Hole repaired

Important to the history of this quilt is a record of its creation and ownership. We always think we will remember the details, but it is a good idea to document when possible.

Label for back


One thought on “Salesman’s Sample Crazy Quilt made in Tennessee

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